Are you really bothered by itchy, watery, red eyes more and more these days? Does it seem like the “ragweed” and “pollen” allergy seasons keep getting worse and worse every year? Are you surrounded by people sneezing and sniffling into the summer months well after allergy season is supposed to be over? You’re not imagining it based on studies from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showing that allergies are increasing in the U.S. 50 million Americans suffer from allergies, with allergic reactions involving the eyes being a very common complaint. An allergic reaction that affects the conjunctiva, which is the clear layer of skin overlying the eyes, is commonly referred to as Allergic Conjunctivitis.
Allergic, “ragweed” or “hay fever”, conjunctivitis is most commonly seen in geographic areas with a high incidence of seasonal allergies, including Connecticut. The most common types are Seasonal Allergic Conjunctivitis (SAC) and Perennial Allergic Conjunctivitis (PAC). SAC and PAC are triggered when a person is exposed to an allergen, most often one that is airborne. In other words, if you are allergic to a particular substance and then come into contact with it, you experience an allergic reaction such as itchy eyes, sneezing or watery eyes.